Doug Pederson on Monday morning was asked about the Eagles’ right guard position, which has become a revolving door this season.
As he answered the question, even Pederson realized how silly it sounded.
“We got some options,” Pederson said. “As crazy as that sounds, we do have some options at guard.”
Pederson is right. The Eagles do have some options. The problem is that none of them are particularly any good.
“Obviously, Sua Opeta can play, (Nate) Herbig can move in there. We have Jamon Brown. We’re hopeful (Matt) Pryor, with being on the COVID list, I believe we can get him back this week as well,” Pederson said. “So we’ll have some options moving into this week. We have to do what’s best for the football team, what’s best for the offense and we’ll make those determinations here pretty quick.”
Getting either Pryor or Lane Johnson this week would help the line immensely. It would also help if either Jason Peters or Isaac Seumalo would be able to return from IR, but it doesn’t appear either move is imminent.
So the Eagles are left with trying to fill that right guard spot in time for a game in just a few days.
Really, there are three options:
Matt Pryor: Pryor started Weeks 3-5 but missed Sunday’s game on the COVID-19 list. No, he wasn’t playing great before he went down but after seeing his replacement, getting Pryor back for Thursday Night Football would actually be a pretty big boost.
The problem, according to Pederson, is that Pryor missed practice late last week and will miss more time this week with limited days to prepare for the Giants.
“I’ll tell ya, it’s difficult this week because it’s such a short week,” Pederson said. “If we get him back, it’s hard to get him the reps to be ready to be a starter. It would be different if we had a full week and we were playing on Sunday or Monday. It’s just something we have to look at and evaluate because some of these other guys are going to be getting the bulk of the reps today or tomorrow.”
It’s true that this is a short week but Pryor is in his third year with the Eagles. You’d think he’d be able to play on short notice. Note: Pryor is on the COVID-19 list but did not test positive.
Jamon Brown: Brown became the third different starter during the season at right guard and was a disaster on Sunday. Legitimately one of the worst individual performances we’ve ever seen from an Eagles offensive lineman.
I’m not sure how the Eagles can say they have to do what’s best for the football team and then put Brown out there again.
Sua Opeta: Opeta was an undrafted rookie out of Weber State last year. He had just one offensive snap coming into Sunday’s game and picked up four more on Sunday, bringing his grand total to … punches calculator several times … five. But if Pryor isn’t ready to go and if the Eagles agree that they can’t play Brown again, then Opeta might be the guy.
The Eagles liked Opeta enough last year to bring him in as a UDFA and promote him from the practice squad so they wouldn’t lose him. And this year, he made the initial 53-man roster and has been active for all but one game.
So those are options. They’re just not great ones.
As a reminder, the Eagles have been in a constant state of flux at right guard ever since Brandon Brooks went down.
Brooks tore his Achilles in June, so we thought Pryor was going to be the starter. Then the Eagles brought back Jason Peters to play right guard. Then Andre Dillard got hurt and eventually the Eagles moved Peters to left tackle so we thought Pryor was back at guard. Instead, Herbig got the surprise start in Week 1 and played well. So he stayed at RG until Isaac Seumalo went down and then moved to left guard and Pryor was back at right guard for the third time. And that’s where Pryor stayed until he landed on the COVID list and missed Sunday, giving Brown a chance to play.
So that’s how we got here.
Who’s up next? Who knows?